Student Laptop Guide
the most important factor when deciding which laptop to buy is ~"What will you be using it for?"
2 If you will be using it for web browsing, word processing, simple spreadsheets, video conferencing then a 4th gen i5 CPU with 4GB RAM will be massive overkill. All you need is an SSD to run these applications lightning fast.
3 If you will be using it to play Far Cry 5, 6, 7 and 8 then it makes sense to get the snazziest, fastest internal bits you can get.
4 Buying used off ebay via paypal from a seller with good feedback is not a minefield. If the item isn't fully as described you simply return it for a full refund.
5 It's scare-mongering to say that laptops that come without chargers represent a too high a risk that they are stolen. Especially if you are buiying a used business laptop. In the corporate world chargers get lost all the time. Users that are leaving the organisation hand their laptops back in without the charger all the time. Because they want to keep the charger for personal use and are just following to the letter their instructions to hand their laptop and phone back in. Or the charger was routed via the cable management of their desk and they didn't think it was their job to untangle it and retrieve it.
Also Dell chargers have a habit of the outer insulation slipping off a section of the charger lead. When this happens the charger will be instantly binned by the IT Department. When collecting laptops when they are being refreshed, it's common for the laptops to be placed in 1 pile and the chargers in a separate big box. When it comes to disposal time the chargers and the laptops often get separated.
6 there are signs that the supply and demand equation on used business laptops is easing from the height of the Covid 19 crisis from May 2020. For example, good condition Dell Latitude E7470's could be bought for £180 in March 2020. In May they were up at around £250. In August prices appear to be dropping back down to £215.
7 Even at £250 a Dell Latitude E7470 represents a really good compromise between price and being a great laptop for typical (non gaming) student use. It's a premium business laptop with a well engineered magnesium alloy chassis.
8 Business laptops from HP, Lenovo and Dell are the big sellers worldwide. In years going forward, business laptops from these 3 brands will be likely to have the cheapest and most easily available spares.
9 when buying a laptop you don't need to do an extensive set of tests to check it's working. Laptops like Dell business ones have a set of inbuilt diagnostics you can run when you get the laptop. Simply set the diagnostics off and go and have lunch and come back later to see if it has passed them all and to see an indication on how healthy the battery is. Then just use the laptop as you normally would and you'll soom be aware of any faults.
- When buying a used laptop buy one where the lettering on one or more of the keys have rubbed off, or there's an area of the space bar that looks shiney / worn only if the laptop is at the right price. If you have a choice of 2 laptops at the same price and same general condition, go for the one with the freshest looking keyboard.
11 You can get laptops for Free! All you need is a contact in an IT Department of a large organisation. Ask them if you can have any laptops they are disposing off. Especially if the laptop will be used for charitable purposes, eg helping with the local Scout Group. Even if you have to buy a new battery and an SSD hard drive to make it into a nice to use laptop that's still an investment of under £80. And you've taken a very green approach to getting your laptop.
12 All Intel and AMD based business laptops will run Linux fine. If you're a techie type, or will be studying Computer Science, run Linux. It's a technically better operating system than Windows 10. And it's a nicer environment for coding. As well as the techie brownie points for running Linux instead of Windows.
13 read descriptions on used laptops carefully. If they don't mention the screen resolution, assume it's a somewhat rubbishy 1366 x 768 resolution. This is OK on a free laptop. For a laptop you've spent money on it doesn't make sense, when you can buy a Dell E7470 for £215 that comes with an FHD 1920 screen resolution as standard.
If they don't mention the hard drive type, assume it's a slow mechanical one. In that case all you should do is allow £30 ish for buying a brand new SSD for it. Dell E7470's come with SSD's as standard.
14 Touchscreens. Do you really want fingerprints all over your screen?
15 Do not buy from Currys. Unless you really absolutely must have something today in a mega emergency. If you can wait a few days, buy elsewhere, for better deals.
After everything you mentioned here, I remembered the laptop my brother uses. I mean the ASUS Zephyrus G15. He also thought a lot about what would be the most suitable laptop for him and after all, he bought this one. He found it at a good price here - https://thecursedcrusade.com/best-laptop-for-mba-students/ and he told me that all the laptops are good and the main thing is that all the laptops are at low prices. I'll get one from them this week, but I'm still not sure which one. I'll see what they will recommend to me.
I think Acer Aspire 5 is suitable, after everything you mentioned.
Very useful information!